SHECKYmagazine.com, SHECKYmagazine, or SHECKY is an online magazine about standup comedy. Described by USA Today as "charming, sincere and helpful," SHECKYmagazine.com was launched on April 1, 1999 by two professional standup comic and comedy writers, Brian McKim and Traci Skene. The publication is read mostly by standup comics, standup comedy fans, entertainment industry figures and media figures.
Columns, articles and features deal with the art, the craft, the business and the lifestyle of standup comedy, with a special focus on the history of modern standup comedy and on the media's treatment, and mistreatment, of standup comics. Particular attention is paid to the depiction of standup comics in the popular culture-- movies, books, television. The magazine often seeks to rectify errors and correct misperceptions about standup comics.
Also included are the photographs and text of the editors' travels throughout North America, in their capacity as professional standup comics, performing in such venues as comedy clubs, casinos and colleges.
Initially published monthly in a magazine format, the editors offered columns, news and interviews with standup comics like Shelley Berman, Richard Lewis, Mitch Hedberg and Dick Cavett and lesser known acts such as DJ Hazard, Tom Ryan, Wayne Cotter, Bob Zany and Carole Montgomery. In June 2004, the editors switched to a blog format, incorporating many features of the older publication with the technology from blogger.com, creating what they call a "blogazine."
Early columns were written by Brian Whalen, Jim "Klaus" Myers, Adam Gropman, Kid Dave Miller and Rich Williams, and focused on various topics such as moving to Hollywood, working on the road or making the transition to becoming a professional standup comic. All original content is contributed penned by standup comics.
The website has been cited by numerous MSM outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, WCBS NewsRadio, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal and National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."
Of SHECKYmagazine.com, the Wall Street Journal said:
There's a long standing tradition in standup comedy that before a comics starts his set, he asks the audience to applaud the comic that preceded him. In standup, this form of support among fellow comedians, which often includes repeating the comic's name so the audience might remember it, is crucial since there's really no one else who's going to do it for them. In a similar spirit, standup veterans Brian McKim and Traci Skene created Shecky Magazine seven years ago as a "glorification of standup comedy."
Most of the site's content is written for and by comics, which gives comedy fans a rare, behind-the-curtain glimpse into the amount of work, travel and failure that any standup who embarks on a professional career can expect to endure. Fans also get a sense of these comics' voices through their writing; after all, most comedian's bits first take shape as a few words jotted down on paper.
Mr. McKim and Ms. Skene started the blog portion in 2004, and recent posts have included open calls for comedians to network with club owners and booking agents, while another entry contemplates pop musician John Mayer's recent turn at the craft: "Of all the Hollywood standup dabbler types, Mayer could actually make a go of the standup thing."
An April 1, 2005 article in USA Today authored by Anne Goodfriend entitled, 10 great places to sit down and watch stand-up, was based solely on information provided by Brian McKim & Traci Skene. The intro: If you don't feel April Foolish today, inspire your sense of humor at a live comedy show. Whether you're home or traveling, there's one near you, say Brian McKim and Traci Skene, who have performed in all 50 states. They also run shecky magazine.com, an online monthly for comedians and their fans, which they launched five years ago today. McKim shares some of the couple's favorite comedy clubs with Anne Goodfriend for USA TODAY. In the July 24, 2006 edition of the Wall Street Journal, Keith Huang featured SHECKYmagazine.com in his "Blog Watch" roundup of comedy-related websites. Most of the site's content is written for and by comics, which gives comedy fans a rare, behind-the-curtain glimpse into the amount of work, travel and failure that any standup who embarks on a professional career can expect to endure. Fans also get a sense of these comics' voices through their writing; after all, most comedian's bits first take shape as a few words jotted down on paper. And, again, from USAToday, in their Web Guide of October 18, 2004: Who would have guessed that a site dedicated to the standup-comedy business could be so charming, sincere and helpful? (Not that we're casting aspersions on the character of standup comics, but one hears alarming rumors.) The proprietors of these pages want to connect with others taking the stage, and offer links to a great amount of information provided by their confederates in humor.
From 1999 to 2007, the magazine covered the world's largest comedy festival, the Festival Just For Laughs in Montreal, with daily updates and photographs. They have published "spoiler" information on NBC's Last Comic Standing for four of the show's last seasons.
SHECKYmagazine was the first publication, on or offline, to interview Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, through his creator Robert Smigel.
Other recent exclusive content included an appreciation of actor Charles Nelson Reilly written by Paul Provenza, the producer of the hit US documentary The Aristocrats, and an essay on Lenny Bruce, "Lenny Bruce Again," by Ed Azlant, film academic, screenwriter and editor of the Lenny Bruce albums "Curran Theater" and "Thank You Masked Man"
Readership is made up of standup comics, entertainment industry figures, media figures and standup comedy fans. Traffic comes mainly from United States, Canada, England, Australia, and The Netherlands, with additional traffic from 30 other countries.
[http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/10great/2005-03-31-comedy-clubs_x.htm USA Today, Anne Goodfriend, "10 great places to sit down and watch stand-up"]
[http://www.usatoday.com/life/2006-03-21-cybercomedy_x.htm USA Today, Gary Strauss, "The joke's on the Net: Comedy careers launched via Web"]
USA Today, "Web Guide"
Wall Street Journal, Keith Huang, Blog Watch